Chilton Williamson, Jr., on America
"The United States has no glorious culture, no history comparable with that of Great Britain and the great Western European nations," he writes in an article "against mass immigration" — Cannibal Statistics. He continues:
- Rooted in the thin acidic topsoil of the Enlightenment, and at a deeper level in the even thinner and more acid subsoil of Puritanism; deprived of an hereditary aristocracy for which a more or less barbaric plutocracy has necessarily substituted; mentally and socially crippled by bumpkin preachers at the bottom of the religious structure and by otiose transcendentalist divines at its top; retarded by its frontier culture; corrupted by the worship of money, science, and technique and by the false religions of Progress and Democracy—high culture at the European level was never to be a part of America’s destiny. (The English, despite the self-inflicted and incurable wound of the Reformation, at least had the sense to kick the sectarians out at the beginning of the 17th century. Chesterton, on a lecture tour in the United States, quipped, to nobody’s amusement, that Great Britain, too, should have her own Thanksgiving Day, offering up her heartfelt thanks for the God-sent departure of the Puritans from England.) And yet American civilization, despite its undeniable shallowness by comparison with that of Europe, does represent the cultural and intellectual flowering of a unique, vigorous, and interesting people who succeeded for a time in creating a culture well suited to, and highly expressive of, its geographical and material circumstances, as Tocqueville understood. The trouble with America is that she never realized her great potential, and the chief reason that she failed to do so is the irresponsible profligacy of her immigration policy, driven almost entirely at the behest, indeed the demand, of the business and industrial elites who, from the beginning, showed no concern for the future of their country but merely for what they might realize from it in the short term. (How could it have been otherwise? They were wealthy men of business, not aristocrats, whose historical role has been to act as husbandmen for their countries.) Mass culture, together with mass democracy, by themselves ensured the destruction of the traditional American civilization (America’s colonial past, remember, is nearly as long as her history as the United States), but the racial and ethnic fragmentation of society produced by immigration ensured that the old civilization was not long for this world.
There is no more chance, of course, of restoring the old American Republic, either in political spirit or in general culture, than of restoring the Roman Republic. And so there would be no need or excuse for deploring its passage but for one thing: As the history of the West since 1789 shows, a bad situation, no matter how bad, can always be made worse. As socially fragmented as American society has become, and as much as its culture has been degraded by immigration, they will inevitably become more so if mass immigration from the Third World is not soon halted. There are, still, many valuable relicts that deserve to be preserved. But contemporary mainstream culture will not permit this truth to be spoken when the message is expressed in subjective historical, cultural, and moral terms. The demons of multiculturalism simply will not permit such a thing. Statistics are acceptable, though generally not welcome. Statistics are social science, after all, and social science is the study of man objectivized, depersonalized, and quantified. Statistics are thought to be cleansed of motives, and as such are tolerated in the endless, and endlessly self-renewing, immigration debate. Unfortunately, the only considerations relevant to the debate that are also of crucial significance are by nature unquantifiable and madly resist statistical expression.